Manhattanites can count on at least a few immutable facts: that it will be impossible to catch a cab at 5 p.m., that the Long Island Expressway will be a parking lot on Memorial Day and that every night at 8 p.m., Il Mulino will be so crowded that the celebrities, business magnates and politicians who frequent the famed Italian restaurant will rub elbows not only with each other, but very nearly with each other’s ossobuco.
Jerry Katzoff, who bought the iconic Greenwich Village eatery with Brian Galligan in 2001, was eating there one night when he noticed that his table’s corner was jutting through the open-backed chair of a neighboring diner.
“I felt bad. I owned the restaurant and it was going into his back. So I pulled the table and I startled the guy,” Mr. Katzoff told The Observer. “I said, ‘The table was in your back,’ and he said, ‘Are you kidding? To get a seat at Il Mulino? I don’t care what you do.’”
It’s that kind of place. It’s been that kind of place since it opened 31 years ago. Reservations are impossible to get, although regulars always seem able to swing a seat at one of the 17 tightly packed tables. (Rumors swirl of a VIP line.) George Clooney was there the other week, and so was the rapper Drake, accompanied by a sizable entourage. Tommy Mottola, Tony Bennett and Ronald Perelman are regulars. When Bill Clinton needed a place to have a tête-à-tête with Obama, he picked Il Mulino. Asked how the lunch had gone, Mr. Clinton told the Times, “It was good. It was Il Mulino, how could it not be?” Read More